Our 853 kilometers of sandy coastline on the Red Sea.
Our rivers – your favorites merging where the White Nile joins the Blue.
Our sunny vacation home at the confluence of rivers.
The mansion with many rooms we share,
With our animist cousins to the tropical south,
With our muslim cousins to the arid north.
Do you remember the time we signed that
ceasefire between 1972 and 1982?
The Revolutionary Command Council got drunk and said
“We have inadequate supplies of potable water!”
They fired rocket-propelled grenades,
supplied by the council’s former alignment with the eastern bloc.
No mention of our petroleum, small reserves of iron ore,
copper, chromium ore, zinc, gold,
tungsten, mica, and hydropower.
Hydropower! You turn the turbine’s blade on our beloved rivers!
Mica! You brighten the paint of our home!
Tungsten! You form the lamp’s filament, lit by hydropower!
Don’t you remember our rituals of hospitality?
A sheep slaughtered in your honor,
fruits are peeled and cut in small slices for dessert,
the unusual teas of the tourism council?
These should be our leading export.
Get on our large, and by regional standards, well-equipped telephone system
and call Cousin Al Qadarif! Call Cousin Wau!
Tell them both to meet us at the summer house!
We have prepared a table of:
groundnuts, sorghum, millet,
wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava,
mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes,
Oh, cousins of the south!
Let there be no stricture on your spirits!
They may rise from a gourd!
Oh, cousins of the north!
Let there be no graven image!
Allah also made the gourd!
Come to our mansion.
At the confluence of rivers.
At the intersection of tables.
At the tabulation of lives.
Two million guests are waiting for you.